Gigbayte has just announced the introduction of a special version of the Z68XP-UD3 motherboard, which will come bundled together with an Intel mSATA 311-series SSD and enables its customers to take advantage of the Smart Response SSD caching technology found in the Z68 chipset.
in question has been named the GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD and Gigabyte has created a special packaging, which informs users of the included SSD.
Intel's 20GB 311-series Larson Creek
solid state drive has been specially designed to be used in conjunction with the Z68 chipset, as a fast cache for the hard drive.
Thanks to the SLC NAND Flash used, the SSD manages to achieve some impressive performance figures and can significantly improve the speed of the system.
Moving to the motherboard itself, this is Gigabyte's most advanced LGA 1155 solution to feature a mSATA slot and also packs a pair of PCI Express x16 slots, which drop to an x8 mode when both are populated.
These are accompanied by three PCI-E x1 slots and two legacy PCI slots, while storage is provided by eight SATA ports. Four of these work at 6Gbps speeds.
Moving to the back of the Z68XP-UD3, we find that Gigabyte
has installed a PS/2 port, eight USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a FireWire port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and an HDMI video output.
Two more USB 3.0 ports are available through an on-board header and Gigabyte also provides a header for a front-panel Firewire port.
The Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 motherboard is compatible with LucidLogix Virtu GPU virtualization technology, so consumers can use Intel's fast Quick Sync technology for transcoding their videos.
The Z68XP-UD3-iSSD should start shipping next week, but its retail pricing hasn't been disclosed. However, this is expected to cost a great deal less than buying the motherboard and the Intel 311-series SSD separately.